Right in the heart of Bangkok lies Lumpini Park, a place that over the years has become home to an ever-increasing number of Water Monitors, the highest number having once been recorded at around 400. For those that have never seen a Water Monitor before, they can grow up to 3.21 metres (10.5 ft) in length, although the average size of adults is closer to 1.5 metres (4 ft 11”), which is still quite impressive and, for a smaller Lizard, is nothing to sneeze at!
At the end of last year, I spent upward of 20 hours at Lumpini Park, over the course of four days, hanging out with these magnificent reptilian creatures with the purpose in mind of capturing as many portraits and behavioural shots as I could. As you might imagine, I have something of a collection by now that I still enjoy looking at, although I always look forward to more opportunities of spending time with them whenever we're up in Bangkok, while my wife and daughter are busy enjoying a bit of shopping.
This first one I'm showing you is one of my favourites. At the beginning of this year I came to the decision that to enhance my chances of success at becoming a successful wildlife photographer I really should look into laser eye surgery, which I did, had done, and am very pleased with.
However, this image was taken last December, when I still used to wear glasses (which I'd always remove when out taking photos, as I found them to be something of a hindrance!) and at the time I took this particular shot I remember looking through my lens thinking, a Water Monitor with a leaf on it's head might make for something a little more interesting that just another portrait, though if the portrait looked good when I had in up on my screen back home and the leaf did nothing for it, well, I could always try and clone it out.
Needless to say, seeing the image blown up large widened my smile no end and I decided to leave the “leaf” in place ;^)